Sunday, March 29, 2015

The heat and humidity continues but the shorter daylight hours makes a huge difference to the stress levels on the turfgrass.  The West greens are recovering well and some patching was done earlier this week which completely depleted the nursery green which will be redone later in April.  The River greens are also recovering well from the mini renovation and are settling in well for the cooler months.  Last weeks fertiliser has kicked in and they are growing very rapidly.  They look a little stripey presently but that is from the sand getting caught up in the reel and effecting the quality of cut.

The on course works involved in the Course Improvement Plan will commence on Monday April 20 and probably last 4 weeks weather permitting.  A new bunker liner will also be installed in the LHS 7 West greenside on April 27 that has been used successfully elsewhere.  This is a link to a Youtube video of just how well the liner worked at Sanctuary Cove earlier this year.   ProLiner bunker video

Well I am off for 3 weeks leave so there will be no blog posts over that time so I trust you continue to enjoy the courses. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Another week passes by with a lot of work performed in addition to routine maintenance with low staff numbers.  The renovation of the River greens has gone well although they were due to be fertilised on Thursday to speed up recovery but it was too windy.  They were fertilised on Friday morning and will not be mown on the week end at this stage.  The surface is quite good as there is not a lot of leaf growth at this stage.

Three main areas of tree works were performed this week being RHS 5 West green, RHS 14 West fairway and LHS 2 River fairway.  These works are all part of the Course Improvement Plan and will not only allow for better lines of play but will also allow for more light to reach the ground which in turn encourages grass growth, particularly at 5 West green.

17 West green continues to develop and has reached the 6 week stage.  If the weather holds up and there are no more damaging rainfall events the green should open at 12 weeks as expected.  13 River green continues to develop and improve and is just 18 weeks old.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

17 West green continues to progress after 5 weeks since planting.  Unfortunately the torrential rain overnight Friday caused some more wash at the front of the green which will affect the finished surface in the early stages.  Root development is good and the task now is to achieve a full cover which shouldn't take long with the runners already starting to spread.

Next week will see some of the tree removal program that is part of the Course Improvement Plan commence.  There will be several contractors on site and your cooperation in giving them as much right of way as possible will be appreciated.

As reported last week the River greens will also receive a mini renovation on Monday and effect on the playing surface should be minimal.  The greens will get some fertiliser to get them prepared for the winter.  It is important to get them as healthy as possible in the lead up to winter so they can maintain a full cover of grass and withstand the player volume.  

And on the other side of the planet as the snow starts to thaw in America the photo below comes from Ridgewood CC in New Jersey with the quickest way to get the snow off their greens!!
One way to get snow off your greens!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

36 degrees surface temperature on 17 West green Sunday afternoon and the  week old TifEagle is thriving!!
Damned hot!

Friday, March 6, 2015

The summer heat continues with Thursday this week nearly the hottest day of this summer season which is supposed to be over according to the calendar!  The struggle for the West greens continues as the root system has still not recovered sufficiently to support the plant in the current air temperatures and the soil temperatures are staying high which makes growing a cool season grass like bentgrass in a sub tropical climate like this so difficult.  There is still a lot of water being applied to the greens despite the fact that they are so soft and as mentioned before the water needs to be available to the roots which are very shallow which means the greens are softer than I would like them.

The weeds in the West greens are very noticeable at present, particularly the foreign couchgrass.  The product used to control this weed has an effect on roots as well and as the roots system is so weak it is too dangerous to spray at this stage.  As the days get shorter and temperatures cool we should be able to spray. 

On a positive note 13 River green continues to mature as does 17 West which was four weeks old this week.  I made a flying visit to the USA last week to attend the Golf Industry Show (GIS) in San Antonio, Texas with the show being the largest gathering of turf professionals in the world with more than 13,000 in attendance.  Yes that's that's right -13,000!  It is a combination of a range of educational sessions and a trade show that covers a huge floorspace.  I was lucky enough to attend two seminars and an open discussion forum on ultradwarf couchgrasses which is what Tifeagle is as planted on 17W.  The opportunity to speak with fellow superintendents who have been growing the grass as a greens turf for over fifteen years was indeed priceless and their praise for the grass was unanimous.  

I was lucky enough to get to visit the Oaks course at San Antonio TPC which hosts the Texas Open later this month after declining an invitation to play the course due to the weather.  The day I arrived in Texas was 27 degrees C and then it struggled to get above 3 degrees C for the rest of the week with light drizzle that was almost sleet.  We did see some intrepid souls out on the course but the day I had available to visit was just too cold to think about golf.  I did get to see quite a bit of the Greg Norman / Sergio Garcia designed course though including the infamous "doughnut green" on the 18th which features a bunker in the middle of the green.  Steven Bowditch won the tournament last year and will be looking to defend in a couple of weeks time so I hope the weather improves for him in time.

The doughnut green with the bunker in the middle.
The River greens have missed some of their normal maintenance due to the weather conditions so will require a "mini renovation" which will take place on Monday March 16.  It will consist of a light de-thatching, mini tine aeration and sanding.  Effect on play should be minimal.